I was a little surprised and disappointed by Stott. I thought he was a Calvinist, but he sounds more like an Arminian with sparse Calvinist moments. W...moreI was a little surprised and disappointed by Stott. I thought he was a Calvinist, but he sounds more like an Arminian with sparse Calvinist moments. While some parts of the book are very helpful, like his discussion of sin, he attempts to present Christianity to unbelievers on "neutral" ground (contra Matt. 12:30) by allowing the sinner to judge whether God even exists, arguing that Christianity is "very likely to be true," and going as far as to suggest a ridiculous prayer: "God, I don't know if you exist, but if you do..." which flies in the face of what the Bible teaches about unbelievers being "without excuse" for hating God and suppressing the truth they already know (Rom. 1:18ff.).
His definition of faith is also off. Stott claims that understanding and believing the Gospel is not enough because you must have a personal "trust" in Christ as well. And while he discusses hell to some extent, he never mentions the wrath of God (from what I recall), which makes me wonder if this has something to do with his annihilationist views. I would not recommend this book as an introduction to Christianity for unbelievers or new believers, but rather to discerning Christians who already have a firm foundation of sound doctrine. Chew on the meat and spit out the bones!(less)
This book is a huge disappointment. I thought it was going to provide some meaty theological discussion, but this wasn't the case. The author kept emp...moreThis book is a huge disappointment. I thought it was going to provide some meaty theological discussion, but this wasn't the case. The author kept emphasizing free will, almost to an extreme, much like another horribly disappointing book, Get Off Your Knees and Pray by Sheila Walsh (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70...), which didn’t even address the tough theological questions that it mentioned (because all it did was mention them).
I can’t stand these modern "Christian" books. According to Phillips, it's wrong to believe that Jesus saved us from God, even though the Bible says, "...having now been justified by His [Christ's] blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:9-10).
Phillips also stressed that there are many “borderline” and “valley” Christians who are “saved” but not in a truly intimate relationship with their heavenly Father; and he kept making huge assumptions about how most Christians know this or think like this or don’t know that. While Spurgeon described that, just as there were several levels in Noah's ark, some of which were closer to God, so there are levels of Christians; Phillips trivializes salvation, much like a flu shot that someone took a long time ago.(less)
This book promotes too much irrational mysticism. Though he claims to be Reformed, Kapic quotes more liberals like Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, N.T....moreThis book promotes too much irrational mysticism. Though he claims to be Reformed, Kapic quotes more liberals like Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, N.T. Wright and Roman Catholics like Teresa of Avila, G.K. Chesterton, and John Henry Newman with hearty approval than he does Reformed theologians. It was not a helpful introduction to theology. Very disappointing. I would recommend John Robbins' "A Guide for Young Christians" instead.(less)